PLAZA DEL NORTE HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER, Paoay City, Ilocos Norte, August 7-9, 2013 – the 7th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration, hosted by the Region 1 Health Research and Development Consortium (R1HRDC), was attended by ~500 participants from the 17 regional health research and development consortia all over the country. With this year’s theme “People at the Center of Health and Health Research,” the conference serves as a platform for various stakeholders to come up with health solutions by way of research and development. The conference is continually reinforced by the four PNHRS’s core agencies namely the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the University of the Philippines Manila-National Institute of Health (UPV-NIH). The celebration of the PNHRS Week is every second week of August by virtue of the Presidential Proclaimation 1309 issued on 2007.
The three-day conference includes Pre-conference (August 7) sessions on Ethics in Health Research and Indigenous Peoples’ Health, roundtable discussion on Health System Shapers, Student Research Competition, mentoring session on Writing for Scientific Journals; Conference activities (August 8) where there are Opening of Exhibits on Student and Professional Research and Consortium Poster, Regional Research Paper Professional Category Competition, panel discussion on Research for Peoples’ Health, Fellowship and Cultural Night at Teatro Ilocandia; (August 9) panel discussion on Generating More Quality Health Research Proposals and Awarding Ceremonies for the Gruppo Medica Award, Student and Professional Research Oral and Poster Competition, and Best Consortium Poster Exhibit Contest. However, the Signing Ceremonies for the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the PNHRS Act (RA10532) shall be scheduled sometime this year.
During the event, the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium (WVHRDC) has actively participated in the mentoring session on Writing for Scientific Journals with Prof. Charmaine S. Malata (West Visayas State University) as one of the reviewers and Dr. Renato C. Ong, Jr. (WVSU-Medical Center) as one of the pre-selected participants. Meanwhile, in the panel discussion on Generating More Quality Proposals, the National and Regional Unified Health Research Agenda and some strategies on how to increase the number of researches funded were discussed. As one of the four panelist during the session, Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer, Executive Director of the WVHRDC, highlighted the Training Awards in Health Research for Region VI Scholars program of the Consortium which is building research competencies of 10 new health researchers every year at the same time producing quality health research proposals. If all 17 regional health R&D consortia would breed at least 10 new researchers every year with one research proposal each, there will be at least 170 quality health research proposals produced annually. After the session, Dr.Ferrer was interviewed on air by the DFWB Radyo ng Bayan Ilocos to synthesize the activities of the three-day celebration and highlighted the importance of health research in our country.
In the Regional Research Paper Oral Competition (Professional Category), Dr. Irecson S. Casteel, a medical doctor from the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, won 2nd place with his study entitled “Case Series: Split Thickness Skin Grafting Via Continuous, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) Using Aquarium Pump.” The competition has twenty-eight entries from the 14 regional health R&D consortia of the country.
The WVHRDC was also awarded with the Outstanding Consortium Poster Exhibit for the second time since the competition started last year. The poster-making contest was undertaken in line with this year’s theme showcasing the activities of the consortium. This year, the WVHRDC poster highlighted the strategies of the Consortium in order to improve the quality of life of people in Western Visayas through health R&D. The tag lines on the poster were described as follows: “Research and Development: Generating Knowledge” located in the head of a human shape which implies that people in Western Visayas have unlimited concerns in order to generate knowledge about health problems and its solutions through conducting researches; “Human Resource Development: Developing Competencies” located in the right hand denotes that the Consortium is also giving significant attention in developing the interests and skills of local researchers with the continuing implementation of the health research trainings breeding quality researchers; “Research Utilization: Providing Solutions” located in the left hand accompanies the developing competency strategy in which the researchers are at the peak of contributing solutions to health-related problems and concerns highlighting the compilation of health research abstracts from 2005 to present; “Partnership and Linkages: Walking Together” found at the right foot of the human figure means continuing partnership among the members of the WVHRDC and other agencies whose mandate is anchored with the advancement of the quality of life of the Western Visayas people and; “Information Dissemination and Advocacy: Reaching Out” come across with partnership and linkages in order to spread the good news of solutions to health problems and to create awareness in health research through various media entities in fostering S&T based tools pursuant to healthier and more productive lives among Filipinos. In addition to these, inside the heart shape is the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan logo which serves as the heartbeat of the celebration.